“To Serve and not to be Served”: The Mission of the Catholic Church through Education in Zambian Church History: A Narrative of James Spaita in the Public Sphere, 1960–2014
Keywords:mission, public sphere, James Spaita, Catholic Church history, Catholic education, Catholic social teachings
This article revisits Zambian church history in order to show the interconnectedness of the mission of the Catholic Church through education and individual narratives of the clergy in the public sphere. This is done through the example of James Spaita. Informed by an interpretative phenomenological study that drew on interviews and content analysis, and in conversation with the Catholic Social Teachings (CST), the article advances that the contributions of James Spaita to church history were largely through education, advocacy and social justice—as shaped by his positionality as an indigenous priest, educator and church leader, and therefore a product of the Catholic Church’s context. Spaita’s narrative also signifies the growing public role and the mission of the Catholic Church in post-independence Zambia, as underpinned by social teachings of the Catholic Church. While discourses of Catholic Church history in Zambia were preoccupied with historicising missionary work and Catholic education (as part of the mission of the church) at the structural level, the article argues that the mission of the Catholic Church through education was also largely shaped by trajectories of the clergy in postcolonial and modern times.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).